September 2019 Newsletter

What a mad couple of weeks! The Brexit situation is moving fast and we need to keep up the pressure on Boris and his No-Deal colleagues. There are lots of protests and events planned – details of all upcoming events are included in this newsletter. Now is the time to get active. Please join us whenever and however you can.

View from our Chair, Peter Leisupe

Welcome to the Banana Republic! What have we become? The Brexit referendum has made us the laughing stock of the world!  The foolishness of Cameron has shown the weakness of our political systems. We have a “democracy” based on a feudal past and a parliamentary system not even from the times of empire, but from the 16th century! It is time we moved in to the 21st century with a modern written constitution.

Berkshire for Europe has been active during the last fortnight attending and supporting rallies to defend our democracy and continuing the battle to defeat Brexit.  The rally in Reading on Saturday 7th September was significant; we had local Labour MP Matt Rodda the Liberal Democrat Dr Phillip Lee, the Greens and the Women’s Equality party all speaking on the same platform. Long may that continue! I thank the Berkshire for Europe members who also spoke at the rally – you are heroes!

Now for the Reading Festival …. what can I say! It makes campaigning worthwhile! It was a fantastic campaign. It is not often we have such genuine engagement with young people. Some were so grateful that we were there, they gave us beer and ice lollies!! We distributed nearly 30K of stickers of all kinds and had about 3000 signatures for our petitions – brilliant!!  Our wrist bands went in 2 hours flat!!!! Social media during the campaign was also a great success – we had over 500k views! The young people actually listened to us and they said, countless times, ‘we’re glad you are out here campaigning’ and they genuinely thanked us. It was the most enjoyable, heart-warming campaigning I have done in 3 and half years! See the photos further on in the newsletter.

We also had a stall at Reading Pride the week after the festival. That too was an astonishing success!  At times our stall was mobbed. My thanks to all who contributed. Again, see the photos below.

Please keep checking Berkshire for Europe social Facebook page for up-to-date initiatives. It is constantly changing as the political situation changes.
Also I must beg for some money. We have spent all our crowd funder for materials, stickers, etc. We were mobbed at times for our Bollocks to Brexit/Bollocks to Boris Stickers at the very successful Reading Music Festival campaign targeting the young.

Our recent campaigns

The Reading festival
Over the bank holiday we joined forces with Open Britain and had an amazing three days of campaigning. We had teams down by the riverside, getting signatures on the People’s Vote petitions, giving out stickers, talking to young people and getting them to have a go on our Brexitometer. Reports from inside the festival were that it was awash with our luminous yellow stickers!

We also had teams at Reading station, talking to people as they arrived in the town. Another team headed to the car parks to distribute leaflets about the October 19th march on every windscreen.

We were joined by Peter Cook from the EU Flag Mafia, who kept everyone entertained with his Anti-Brexit music. Reading East MP, Matt Rodda joined us, as did Judith Bunting, Lib Dem MEP, and Labour Councillor and candidate for Reading West, Rachel Eden. Femi from Our Future Our Choice (pictured below) also came along on the Friday. It was great to have such high-profile support.

We encouraged everyone we spoke with to register to vote. We had great support – the vaste majority were massively supportive of what we are doing and they are ready to make their voices heard at the very next opportunity.

The whole campaign was a real bonding experience for everyone involved. Special thanks to the organiser, the key co-ordinators and the base camp hosts! And huge thanks too to everyone who contributed to the Crowdfunder to pay for the stickers and wristbands – we couldn’t have done it without you! We circulated just over 30k of Stickers over the events!

The team enjoyed an ice-cold beer or glass of chilled wine at the end of each day. Here we are, posing for a group photo.

Reading Pride
There was little rest for some members of the team, who were back out campaigning the following weekend for Reading Pride. The weather was a bit more wild, but luckily our gazebo and stand stayed put … which is more than can be said for the Conservative Party Gazebo! The day was a great success – we had a huge amount of support and distributed many stickers.

Reading Rally
Last Saturday we attended a Rally in Reading, protesting about the Prorogation and against Brexit in general. There was a short procession, followed by a gathering outside the Town Hall for speeches. Matt Rodda, Labour MP for Reading East spoke, as did Dr Phillip Lee, MP for Bracknell and recent joinee of the Lib Dems. There were additional speeches from the Green Party the Lib Dems and the Women’s Equality Party. Thanks to the local Lib Dems for organising this event. It was a great success and we had several heartfelt speeches from members of Berkshire for Europe too. There may well be more Rallies in the local area in the next few weeks – please keep an eye on our Facebook page and website for updates.

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